Posts Tagged ‘ summer fun ’

Parents Goody Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win a Pair of Heelys Skate Sneakers

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Buying new shoes for your kids is no longer just a back-to-school ritual. With summer here, and kids wanting to run around and play all day, don’t be surprised if your kid requests Heelys. They’re sneakers with a wheel in the heel. Your child can choose if he or she wants to walk, run, or skate–just by shifting their weight!

Kids wearing Heelys should also wear a helmet and pads, just like they’re on roller skates or a skateboard. Watch the YouTube video from the company to see how to use Heelys safely. The advantage of Heelys is that the wheels pop out, so your kid can, for instance, walk-skate to a friend’s house and then remove the wheels and walk right inside without changing shoes or carrying a big piece of equipment.

Heelys (a part of Sequential Brands Group, Inc.) is offering TWO lucky readers a chance to win a pair of their skate sneakers; winners get to choose a style, and most styles are worth approximately $70. To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day June 30th. More Qs about our giveaway? Read the official rules. Be sure to check back on July 1 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!

And here’s a good place to take your kid-on-wheels: Your local library! Free air conditioning and books sounds like a good afternoon to us…

Congrats to our TWO winners, Kristen Mcclary and Emily Wozniak Braun! Please check your “other” message folder on Facebook to claim your prize!

Kids Books for Summer
Kids Books for Summer
Kids Books for Summer

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Enter to Win a $129 Cars or Planes Mobo Tot Cruiser

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Now that it’s summer, kids are out of school and ready for some outdoor fun. Although sidewalk chalk and jump ropes are classic favorites, let your kid beat the heat in a brand-new Disney Pixar Mobo Cruiser, coming out in July. This is a first look at them; we love those jaunty flags!

Mobo Cruiser is offering TWO lucky GoodyBlog readers the chance to win one Disney-Pixar Cars or Planes cruiser in the style of their choice. Each is valued at $129. To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day June 16. Be sure to check back on June 17 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. The winner will receive their Mobo Tot Cruiser in July. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. We’ve also posted all the Official Rules. Goody luck!

Want the kids to come in and cool off? Have them help you make these snow-cone cupcakes.

Congrats to our TWO winners, Carmen Van Deursen and Natalie Shmigelsky! Please check your “other” message folder on Facebook!

Snow Cone Cupcakes
Snow Cone Cupcakes
Snow Cone Cupcakes

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Brooke Burke-Charvet: “We have a pretty good sense of adventure as a family.”

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

One celebrity mom who knows a thing or two about travel: Brooke Burke-Charvet. The Dancing with the Stars champ and mom of four has ventured all over with her family, from the states to Europe, even Africa. It makes perfect sense then that the TV personality recently teamed up with Embassy Suites Hotels to host a panel with her daughter Rain, 7, and son Shaya, 6, on the “Pretty Great Family Debate,” a discussion on tackling common family disputes like homework, bedtime and yes, vacation planning. Parents got the scoop on how Brooke keeps her cool while traveling and what she can’t wait to do with her kids this summer.

P: So your family likes to plan vacations together. What helps you all make decisions without butting heads?

B: I’m all for a family meeting, but it’s really tough. I have four very opinionated children. The little ones, Rain and Shaya, kind of go with the flow but my teenage daughters Neriah, 14, and Sierra, 12, always have their own plans in mind. We try to do one big family vacation a year, so what we do is we’ll sit down and agree on a destination. More so, it’s about them deciding how we want to spend the time once we’re there. I try to let everybody choose one thing that they want to do. You want to make sure that family travel is enjoyable for every member, so it’s not just all about the kids or all about the parents.

P: In your travels, what places have your kids found cool?

B: We have a pretty good sense of adventure as a family. My children love to be on an island; they love the water. This summer, we’re going to try scuba diving for the very first time now that the kids are old enough. We’re going on a family cruise too, which I’m really excited about. They even like to go to Europe and discover history. I’ve always felt like we make every destination family-friendly. We teach them how to conduct themselves in any environment.

P: How do you keep your children entertained on longer trips?

B: I really feel like that depends on the energy and nature of the parent. I mean, I took Shaya and Rain to Africa when they were 2 and 3, even though every other mother thought I was insane. It’s just a matter of trying to go with the sun rather than staying on your own time zone. Be flexible as a parent and try not to travel as Americans. Get into the mindset of the local people wherever you are. When you go into a trip expecting to have exactly what you have at home, you’re just going to be disappointed. And I’ve found red-eye flights can be really great for long trips because everybody can just shut down and go to sleep.

P: What go-to items are with you all the time on vacation?

B: Books! I’m a big believer of less is more, and I like to encourage my children to read. It’s a great way to wind down on the plane. I limit tech, but everybody likes to have some iPad time. They’ll play with a mix of educational and pure entertainment games. I also like arts and crafts that are containable, like everyone’s into these bracelet-making projects right now. The things that take up a small amount of space but are cute and nifty are great for me.

P: Family fights are never fun! How do you handle meltdowns during a trip?

B: With more kids, it’s bound to happen. There’s always one child not happy. I just think you have to nip it in the butt really quickly. I don’t tolerate a lot of family fighting.

P: With summer on its way, what activities are you most excited to do with your kids?

B: My two teenagers are into paddle boarding, and I also just started doing Soul Cycle with my oldest, Neriah. We have a trampoline in the backyard; that’s great exercise and super fun. Shaya is honestly determined to teach me how to do a back flip. God help me! We also like to be outdoors and go on hikes.

P: I’m sure you’ll have more free time this summer with your children out of school. What helps you unwind in your spare time?

B: For me, it’s really my workouts. That’s totally my only hour in the day that’s me-time where I really don’t have to think about anything else. It’s not just a physical benefit; it’s also great for mind, body, and soul. And I love to cook. I find that it’s really relaxing. It’s a huge bonus because my family loves to eat and there’s a lot of people to feed.

Planning a family roadtrip? Use these tips for a smooth ride!

Top Tips for Better Family Roadtrips
Top Tips for Better Family Roadtrips
Top Tips for Better Family Roadtrips

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Happy Summer Learning Day!

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Today marks the first official day of summer. It is also Summer Learning Day, a day dedicated to making sure kids keep up with their academic goals even when school is not in session.

Growing up, summer was my favorite time of year. I was fortunate enough to go to camp, travel, and hang out by the poolside. However, come fall, I would dread the first day of school because I had forgotten a good amount of what I had learned the year before. I was an avid reader regardless of whether school was in session, but my math skills went out the window once Memorial Day came around.

Luckily, there are now more ways than ever to keep your child’s mind churning during these school-free months. If you’re not sure where to get started, PBS Kids has already launched several summer learning resources. True to it’s mission, the network is offering TV programming that is both educational and fun. Weekly themes include Sesame Street’s “Literary Quest Week” and Arthur’s “Sports Week.” PBS Kids is providing ways to encourage learning beyond the silver screen as well. If your child loves playing on your smartphone, retire Angry Birds for a bit and try the new PBS Kids “room” in the Apple store instead. This “room” is a page curated with (free and paid) educational apps that are worth exploring with your child.

Many kids want to spend much of their break outdoors, and there are plenty of ways to maximize that time as well. Try introducing your active learner to a jump rope spelling game. After dinner, transform your patio into the set of Jeopardy: Kids Summer Edition with fun trivia games.

Planning on logging some miles in the family van this summer? If your children don’t get motion sickness, you might be able to keep them occupied in the back seat with a book or two. And before you hit the road, create an easy interactive chalkboard map with your kids so they can learn where they’re going.

Whatever you do with your family this summer, make sure you set aside some time to help your kids avoid brain drain. Happy learning!

 Image: Schoolchildren painting, via legnenda/Shutterstock

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Fun Ways to Prevent Summer “Brain Freeze”

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Family playing cardsEditor’s Note: In the first post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month.  He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.

Children’s brains go to sleep as soon as school ends for summer vacation, and they can hibernate until after school starts again in the fall. While kids need rest and rejuvenation, structured and unstructured play, physically active and tranquil days, and homework-free evenings, the summer “brain freeze” (a.k.a. “summer meltdown” or “summer slide”) can last too long. When resting brains slip into vegetative states defined by TV, video games, Facebook, text messaging marathons, and MP3 hypnosis, it’s time for an intervention.

Fortunately, there is a cure: enrollment at Family Summer University (FSU)! At FSU, there is no tuition and no homework, but there are tests (more like friendly and funny family competitions) every night.

As Dean of FSU, it’s your job to set aside a little time each day to write the quiz questions. Tailor them to the ages and learning levels of your kids, but don’t be limited to school subjects.  Instead, include a wide range of topics: celebrities, cartoon characters, favorite storybooks, sports teams, movies and TV shows, or any other topics that each family member will enjoy.  Fun trivia about Justin Bieber and Jeremy Lin can help camouflage the educational lessons about hypotenuses, homonyms, and Hamlet.  Mix and match questions every night from different subject areas or dedicate different nights of the week to certain subjects.

Look to brain teaser games, flash card sets, home versions of TV quiz shows, the library, the internet, and yes, your kids’ school books, to write your questions. But don’t overdo it — set a maximum of 20 questions per child per day, 10 questions if you have more than three kids! Remember, if you’re asking your 6 year old a tough question for his age, you should also be asking your 12 year old a tough one for her age.

Once your questions are written, gather the kids on the designated FSU campus (it can be the porch, patio, or another comfortable venue that’s preferably outdoors) and let the games begin! A great time for FSU to gather is after dinner because everyone is already together. Play every night or play a few days a week. Add bonus questions, musical prompts, and picture clues to make the game more interesting. Watch as scarce minutes with your kids turn into special moments.

After the answers are given, discuss them with your kids.  Gently explain the questions they missed and have them explain ones they got right. Tally the correct number of answers for each contestant each dayk. At the end of each week, give a prize to the child with the highest score, and then start scoring from scratch the next week.  This way, no one falls so far behind that they have no chance of catching up.  Good “prizes” can be letting the winner choose the DVD on family movie night or the theme for a special dinner night.  At the end of the summer, have an FSU “graduation” ceremony with cardboard caps, bed sheet gowns, and colorful paper diplomas. Then, make sure to go for ice cream!

Dr. Harley A. Rotbart

Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado.  He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).


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Fun Family Activities for the Fourth of July

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Have some red, white and blue fun as we celebrate our nation’s independence.  Indulge in some patriotic pastimes like catching a baseball game or eating a tri-color parfait.  Or put together your own mini parade or wave homemade parade batons at your neighborhood celebration.

Check out more Fourth of July activities, crafts, and recipes below.

Fourth of July Activities

Fourth of July Crafts

Fourth of July Recipes

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